Recorded on July 29 1927 at Bristol, Tennessee during the famous Bristol Sessions where Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family made their first recordings. This version of "Pretty Polly" is just one of the many turns on the "murdered girlfriend" ballad. Banjo players who play these sordid little tunes tend to tune their instrument to a modal tuning. Some researchers have held the belief that "Pretty Polly" is a shortened variation of another ballad called "The Gosport Tragedy."
September 14, 2009 Subject:
This song is near and dear to my heart. My grandmother used to rock in her rocking chair and sing it to all us grandkids- we would just sit and listen..mesmerized.
Reviewer:sav rekons -
May 27, 2009 Subject:
sav rekons 4 to 4.25 stars
October 14, 2008 Subject:
johnorford...stop being a pompous ass. I happen to love this tune more than you can ever know.
October 14, 2008 Subject:
Sordid little tune?
Sordid little tune, my foot. So Tosca and Macbeth are sordid stories? The inability to appreciate the art of the unsophisticated is rather old - much the same was said of the English Folk Song and Dance Society for collecting "silly ditties". We don't all like the same things, thank God, but perhaps you could find someone who writes a little kindlier on such music?
July 26, 2008 Subject:
note to downloaders/uploaders:
The name of this file collides with the (also great) version by Dock Boggs in this collection, just a heads-up. Adding the name of the performer seems like a good idea, not to sound ungrateful for all the great content here. :)
March 8, 2008 Subject:
Meet the original Scary Music. I love this creepy old song!
There a old timer that play this song on fiddle also sings but not at the same.He plays and sings this song at art and crafts fair at Cedar Lakes,W.V.B.F.Shelton does good job on the tune but this old timer bring it to life.If you like this kind of music,I do not think the song is too long.
July 4, 2005 Subject:
Stop me if you've heard this verse..
While I like the instrumentation of this one, the whole tune got repetitious too quickly, and worse, went on far too long for it's own good. Singer obviously didn't know when to end, so he just.. ended. lol.
May 23, 2004 Subject:
B.F. Shelton's best song, and one of the best folk music has to offer.
March 15, 2004 Subject:
Have to agree with Fiddlinshim
This is an example of a recording that MUST must be saved.
February 24, 2004 Subject:
Shelton's "Pretty Polly"
"Sordid little tune" indeed! This is a great traditional ballad, impeccably, no -- perfectly, played by one of the great masters of two-finger banjo picking (and a fine singer as well).
This is a great classic recording. Not to be missed.